Mason Jar Magazine

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News: Bluegrass Underground moves to Grundy County in 2018

Grundy County — After a successful nine year run at Cumberland Caverns in Warren County, the popular Bluegrass Underground music series will move to Grundy County in 2018, according to a recent press release.

Launched in 2008, the live music series currently takes place in the Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns 333 feet underground. PBS also partners with Bluegrass Underground to tape select concerts for their musical adventure series called Live from the Underground. Executive Producer Todd Mayo helps curate the acts and says the public television version is “one part Austin City Limits and one part Nova.”


Widespread Panic plays Bluegrass Underground in March 2014. The performance also aired on the popular PBS series Live from the Underground. The music series will move to Grundy County next year.

The series explores bluegrass artists as well as Americana, country, soul, blues, rock n’ roll, gospel, and folk. Over its nearly 10 years in the Volcano Room, they’ve hosted bands like Widespread Panic, Lucinda Williams, Lee Ann Womack, The SteelDrivers, and Jason Isbell.

The new venue, named The Caverns, will be nestled at the foot of Monteagle Mountain in Pelham just 10 minutes from Interstate 24 in a yet undisclosed location.

“This is a dream come true to find a cave system that expands and improves the live and televised musical experiences of underground performances we have been curating since 2008,” said Mayo in a press release.  “Our new home at The Caverns will enable us to add infrastructure with permanent power, professional audio and lighting with enhanced food and beverage concessions that have never before been possible, including a longtime request from our patrons: cold beer.”

They’ll be making the move, in part, to satisfy the ever-growing demand for tickets. The Volcano Room accommodated just 600 people where the new space hopes to comfortably host up to 1,000 including disabled patrons. The Volcano Room was not handicapped accessible.

Executive Producer Todd Jarrell adds that the new venue will offers permanent infrastructure such as power and professional lighting, which will benefit the PBS crew. Bluegrass Underground has a partnership with WCTE Upper Cumberland PBS and the 300-plus stations of the national PBS system. They’ve won 13 Emmys over the last nine years.

“In the past, we taped the entire 12-episode season over one weekend due to the difficulty and expense of bringing literally tons of cabling and show gear a quarter mile into the cave,” he said in the release. The new set up allows for the same great natural acoustics with greater capacity and flexibility. “The Caverns’ permanent infrastructure presents us the flexibility to match calendars with some of the world’s greatest performers, enticing them underground to offer our fans a ‘deep down’ lifetime experience throughout the year.”

Organizer anticipate they’ll offer up to 50 shows in 2018 — compared to less than a dozen this year — and add new unexplored categories like comedy acts and symphonic music.

Shows will continue to run at Cumberland Cavern through December and will include acts like Maura O’Connell, Sammy Kershaw, James Otto, Aaron Tippin, and Suzy Bogguss. For ticket information click here. For more information about the PBS show Live from thte Underground, click here.

Stay tune to Mason Jar Magazine for future updates. •

{Mason Jar Magazine covers food, dining, arts, culture, events, attractions, music, books, film, and outdoor recreation in a cluster of 18 small towns in southern, middle Tennessee including Bell Buckle, Belvidere, Cowan, Decherd, Estill Springs, Fayetteville, Huntland, Kelso, Lynchburg, Manchester, Monteagle, Mulberry, Normandy, Tullahoma, Sewanee, Shelbyville, Wartrace, and Winchester plus the best of what’s happening in Huntsville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, and Nashville.}

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